Counterfeit money causing real problems in Wake County

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Fake money is on the rise in Raleigh.

Police in two Wake County cities report significant spikes in reports of fake cash during the past few months.

Raleigh Police say their numbers went from about a dozen per month at the start of the year to 46 in April. Wake Forest Police report about the same, with counterfeit cases nearly tripling this year over last.



"This bill was passed through here," said Rhonda Selph, owner of Watkins Grill in Raleigh. "When I went to the bank, the machine rejected it. So I've lost 20 bucks. Six months ago, I lost two more 20s. The man down the street from me, he lost three 50s. It's real money and you don't get recourse when you take it to the bank. They don't give you your money back."

Selph knows all about spotting a fake bill. There are special highlighters you can get at your local office supply store that color a real bill gold, but a fake bill dark brown. But she says even those have drawbacks.

"The pen works," Selph said, "but you can mark a newspaper and it's the same kind of paper as a bill. Exactly the same kind of paper."

The way to check is to look for the watermark (on bigger bills). It's a thin line that runs from the top of the bill to the bottom; it's easiest to see looking at the bill in good light.

If you find a counterfeit bill, take it to the police or a Secret Service field office.

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financecounterfeitmoneywake county newsRaleighWake Forest
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